State Representative Vega
State Representative Aaron Vega of Holyoke spoke at the February meeting of the club, discussing the 2014 gun bills and some issues that may come before the legislature in 2015. He recommended that club members contact their state senators and representatives on any of the subjects before the legislature, and promised to stay in contact with the club.
Instructor and RSO Training
The club is planning training courses for prospective NRA Basic Pistol Instructors and Range Safety Officers. Club President Norm Desilets is in charge.
The club will hold an NRA Metallic Reloading course on April 11. It is a hands-on, all-day training session in the reloading of rifle and pistol cartridges. All materials are supplied, the fee is $75 and lunch is provided. Successful participants receive an NRA certificate. Bill Burgess and Ralph Rechenberger are in charge.
Rob Lombardi has been elected club governor. Duties include all competitions and range conditions.
Club Treasurer Paul Cadorette announced he will be retiring from the post in November. Anyone interested in becoming the next treasurer is welcome to work with Paul and learn the system. Also, the club is seeking a volunteer chef to run cookouts at the May through October meetings. Interested parties should see Club President Norm Desilets for information.
Friends of NRA Banquet
The twenty-second annual banquet of the Pioneer Valley Friends of NRA will be held May 8 at the Castle of Knights in Chicopee. The event will feature a buffet dinner, auctions and raffles and an opportunity to visit with old friends. More than two dozen firearms, among them an exclusive engraved Henry rifle built from the original blueprints, will be among the prizes. Tickets are $40 and are available from Debra and Peter Galenski, Roland Menard and George Apgar. The Friends of NRA is part of the NRA Foundation, a charitable organization that provides funds for range construction, youth organizations, conservation and other shooting and related activity. The club has received several grants for range improvements and junior shooting activities.
Weekly maintenance takes place on Monday mornings. Typical tasks include housekeeping and cleaning as well as maintenance on range equipment. The volunteers could use one more helper, and have asked any member who is available on Mondays to consider lending a hand.
As it has done for many years, the club voted at the January meeting to purchase a full-page ad in the program for this year’s Melha Shrine Circus.
New alarm system
The interior alarm system in the clubhouse has been updated and now is activated and deactivated by electronic swipe card. Access is limited to certain officers and instructors.
Practical matches Moving to First Sunday
The club’s practical matches, which had been held on the fourth Saturday of the month, will now take place on the first Sunday. New shooters should arrive at 9 a.m. for safety instruction. Participants should bring a centerfire pistol or revolver and 100 rounds of ammunition, extra magazines and speedloaders, a holster, which is not a shoulder or crossdraw model, a baseball cap and eye and ear protection. Chris Fila is in charge. Volunteers are needed to set up the stages, and should arrive at 8 a.m.
Western Mass. Pistol League
The annual matches of the WMPL are continuing through the winter. Holyoke competes in a series of postal matches against other local clubs, firing .22 pistols in a gallery match format. New members are invited to participate, and loaner pistols are available. Ron Mehlhorn and Pete Galenski are co-captains, and practice sessions are held on Friday evenings.
Electronic Gate Lock
The main gate locking system has been changed from the previous padlock access to now work with the same electronic proximity card that opens the club’s front door. Keys to the yellow gate on the road to the 100-yard range are hanging below the sign-in book near the front door.
Damage to Gate
The gate was recently damaged during snow removal operations. The club will be reimbursed by the equipment owners.
Holyoke Police Qualifying
The Holyoke Police Department has begun its annual qualification sessions Tuesday mornings at the indoor range. Under a contract with the club, the PD has exclusive use of the range during training and qualifications.
South Hadley Police Qualifying
The club has also signed a contract with the South Hadley PD to use the indoor range for its qualification sessions. SHPD will be qualifying on Wednesday mornings, but with only 28 officers, will only need the range for a few mornings. HRC members who arrive to find either police department using the range should ask the officer in charge when the range will be free. Outdoor ranges are not affected.
Joining the club at the February meeting were Alejandra Torres-Ortiz, Cassandra Salvador, and junior member Harrison Rodriguez, all of Chicopee, Robert O’Donnell, Kimberley Jourdain, Jeremy Guz, Robert Shaw and David Seidel, all of Holyoke, Martin Franco-Bermudez and Sarah Mehdizegan, both of Springfield, Steven Rigler of Amherst, Victor Bodon and Kenneth and Laura Heim, all of South Hadley, and Donald Plouffe of Westfield.
HRC Hats and Patches
Hats and jacket patches embroidered with the club’s logo are now available for sale from Membership Secretary Bill Burgess. Also available are limited-edition items commemorating the club’s 100th anniversary.
The NRA and G.O.A.L.
The club encourages its members to join the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners’ Action League, the state rifle and pistol association. Ed Pelland is the club recruiter for both organizations, and handles membership applications and renewals for both. Club members can save $10 per year by paying for their NRA memberships through Ed for $25, rather than the standard $35. Ed receives NRA points for each renewal or new membership, which he applies to NRA memberships for the junior members of the club.
Dave Sparko conducts fun shoots on Tuesday evenings at the club. Competitors shoot .22 pistols at steel plates and a “Dueling Tree” of spinning targets,trying to move all of the discs to the opponent’s side of the tree. Match schedules will be posted on the club’s website and calendar.
Holyoke Revolver Club conducts an NRA Basic Pistol course every month on the third Saturday. Successful participants receive both the NRA certificate and the Massachusetts State Police certificate required for firearms licenses. To register or for more information visit www.holyokerevolverclub.com. The club has more than a dozen NRA-Certified Pistol Instructors and more than two dozen NRA-Certified Range Safety Officers. Volunteers are needed to monitor the firing line from around 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m
The firearm familiarization course for new shooters has been reorganized and will be offered on certain evenings at a reduced cost of $25. Rich Asselin is in charge, and is looking for instructors and RSO’s to assist. For more information and to register for Shooting 101 visit www.holyokerevolverclub.com. The next Shooting 101 course is scheduled for February 25.
The range is closed when construction crews are working on the new adjacent ranges. The main backstop is at 100 yards, and a smaller berm is located at 50 yards on the rifle range. These are the only safe impact areas. Lately there have been shots fired at targets on the ground short of the two berms. This is a dangerous practice that may cause ricochets, and is not permitted on either of the outdoor ranges.
50/50 Raffle and Members’ drawing
Tanisha Torres won $46.00 at the February meeting. Roland Menard won the members’ drawing. Bob Quirk’s name was also drawn, but he did not attend the meeting.